2 members of drug trafficking ring sentenced for role of distribution in Puget Sound

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Two members of a drug trafficking ring were sentenced to a total of over 10 years for money laundering and drug trafficking in Snohomish County. 

The two sentenced were the cousin and the wife of the operation's ringleader, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison earlier this year. 

Jose Arrondondo-Valdez, 27, was sentenced to nine years in prison and Yvette Olguin, 40, was sentenced to 2.5 years in prison. Arrondondo-Valdez is the cousin of ringleader Cesar Valdez-Sanudo. Olguin is Valdez-Sanudo’s wife, both of whom played key roles in the drug ring, according to the Department of Justice (DOJ). 

Members of the drug ring were indicted in December 2020, following a lengthy wire-tap investigation. Law enforcement seized large amounts of drugs during the investigation, including a 49-pound load of methamphetamine that was coming to Washington State from California, disguised in boxes for household items. 

Nearly 75 pounds of drugs were found on a property in Arlington, most of it buried underground. The property was purchased with drug money, according to the DOJ.

Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement seized approximately 143 pounds of methamphetamine, 15 pounds of heroin, 35,000 suspected fentanyl pills, 24 firearms, and approximately $778,000. 

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The DOJ said Arrondondo-Valdez served as the right-hand man to ringleader Valdez-Sanudo. Arrondondo-Valdez was arrested with Valdez-Sanudo at the Snoqualmie Casino.

Olguin was key to the operations of the drug trafficking organization by making hotel and travel arrangements and working to launder the cash the operation took in, according to the DOJ.

When the drug ring members were arrested, Law enforcement seized cash, checks, and the contents of bank accounts as proceeds of the drug crime. Olguin schemed with her husband Valdez-Sanudo to launder more than $1 million through casinos., the DOJ said. 

"With today’s sentences, Mr. Arrondondo-Valdez and Ms. Olguin will spend significant amounts of time in federal custody as a result of their roles in this drug trafficking organization," said Jacob D. Galvan, Acting Special Agent in Charge, DEA Seattle Field Division. "Together with our state and local partners we removed significant amounts of narcotics and firearms from the community and prevented the organization from using its proceeds to further their illicit schemes."